How do we encourage workplace learning?

The 2015 Chief Learning Officer Learning Modalities survey recently studied the different types of learning being used in the workplace. It found despite the advances in new technology enabled learning the majority of workplace training is still delivered in the classroom through instructor-led training with 87% of organisations using it.

However particularly with more geographically spread organisations there is difficulty in delivering instructor led training with 51.4% of organisations citing a lack of time to do it and a third having difficulty sourcing talent to do the training. 

To tackle this there is an increasing trend to add technological components to instructor led training adding mobile and video components and 59.3% of organisations are also using virtual instructor led training. Self-paced eLearning is also picking up in popularity with 73.4% of organisations using it. In addition 74.4% or organisations plan to move their eLearning programs to mobile devices in the next 18 months showing the importance of mobile technology in our learning today. Across these other methods however the difficulty in measuring the impact is consistently raised as a challenge.

One of the interesting findings was that one of the best methods for improving employee engagement – gamification – was the least popular learning method used with only 17.4% of organisations using it. Gamification works by down the tasks workers perform (in this case learning) and increases their uptake by adding game elements to them such as point scoring, particular rules of play, and social leader boards. Possibly the reason for the low uptake is that gamification techniques only begun being formally taught recently meaning there is still limited understanding of it. Knowing when to deploy it was the most cited reason for not applying gamification.

To ensure that a culture of lifelong learning is embedded and our workforce is highly skilled and resilient we need all workers in New Zealand to be undertaking ongoing training in the workplace. Identifying and supporting the learning techniques that can increase learner engagement the most, increase the transfer of knowledge and getting businesses to adopt them widely is an important part of doing this.

What support do you think businesses need to provide a greater amount and higher value of workplace training?

Read more about issues like this in the Education and Training issues paper.

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